RTV Molding & Casting
RTV Molding Services
RTV molds are created using a master pattern. The master pattern can either be created using CNC machining or a 3D printer, such as an SLA machine. Silicone rubber is poured around the master pattern, creating a cavity and a core. The master is removed once the silicone rubber sets and leaves a void into which several materials may be cast.
RTV molding is an inexpensive way to bridge the gap between prototype and production. It is most effective when you need a short run of parts to simulate production parts. More common materials used for RTV molding are polyurethanes, wax and silicone. Polyurethane can simulate a wide range of materials from soft rubber to hard plastic.
What Can Urethane Casting Do?
Cast urethane parts can produce incredible detail and excellent surface finish. Often, little finishing is required on cast urethane parts because the details and textures are applied to the master pattern. Because of the flexibility of silicone, reverse draft, inserts and undercuts are all easy to deal with.
Urethane casting can be used for several applications including visual models, product testing, color and texture studies and even low-volume production. Urethane parts can be of nearly any size and shape and can also be color-matched. To learn more, check out this great resource for urethane casting and RTV molding.
Try our variety of RTV casting services that are adaptable to the specific project you bring to the table.
The Casting Process
The master pattern is created via 3D printing from the 3D part file. The 3D printed master then is finished, textured, and dimensionally verified to ensure customer satisfaction.
Once the master pattern is complete we then use it to create the silicone mold. The molds are generally good for up to 25 parts before needing to be replaced.
Urethane or silicone is then cast (injected) into the mold to create the cast parts. These parts are similar to injection molded parts, many customers use cast urethane parts as production pieces.
Generally, a silicone mold will max out at 25 parts, softer durometer parts such as those on the “shore A” scale will allow for some extra parts; optically clear parts will generally only allow for a maximum of 20 parts from a single silicone mold.
We’ve cast parts in excess of 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and over 500 cubic inches in volume.
Yes, many times a customer only requires annual volumes of 100 parts or less. When quantities are that low cast urethane or silicone parts is a great way to fill the order, and will save substantial money when compared to traditional injection molding.
Yes, however there are some things to keep in mind. Most of the casting materials have a shrink rate, and when we build the master patterns here at Schmit we compensate for the shrink rate for the material that will be used to create the cast parts.